3 years ago there i was. head down hands up wondering what the hell i was gonna do with myself. growth is constant but at that time, was stagnant. reinvention is fun destined for the schedule of “occasionally” but at that time, non existent. I had to change, my outlook on life clouded by my, at that time recent findings and experimentation on the amount of alcohol needed to lose consciousness or the number of people i could offend. My relationship with my mother and father had the consistency of pancake mix. My friends helping hands were worn down from being extended so regularly and i was slowly, along with most people, losing faith in myself. My thoughts of better times circled like vultures and they picked at the body of my childhood memories. Among the many they found fond memories of my father in a straw cowboy hat and arms as big as tree trunks carrying me from my bed to his truck in the blue dark of morning. my beautiful mother wearing overalls and a round hat to protect her fair skin from the sun. i, half awake could hear hank williams jr or CCR playing from the tape deck. the smell of coffee and camel cigarettes filled my nose and i loved it. dad would back the boat down the launch and i couldn’t shut up about where we should fish first. Dad made me clean lures and check our oars and those things felt like like the most important jobs in the world and he could only trust me with. just a boy loving what was in front of him, those times i held so tightly, half in fear of forgetting them and half wishing they could be re-created. My family was so close and we shared so much, the feelings of those tightly knitted days seems a hundred years ago, yet encased in a shell only a day old. my sisters so young and impressionable in those times, so sweet and small. these days thoughts of my guiding hand changing certain areas of their upbringing seem lost. my wishing for a do-over of my few years when it was just them and i, are thoughtful yet in vain. they needed me in those times and i wasn’t there. either way they grew and regardless of my pointless advice, in a time where i had none to give they both turned into such smart and beautiful girls so full plans for the world ahead of them. there movements and choices were in no way thanks to me and while i feel so guilty for this, i’m proud that they didn’t need me. i love them more than anything and they continue to grow, my head spins at the thought of watching them walk down a aisle or out of a maternity ward. back to the river- a few years ago, needing a primal leveled connection to my family I started fishing again. a good part of my obsession with the sport and lifestyle revolves around the best parts of my childhood, many having rivers and or fishing as a integral part of them. the fishing style has changed a bit, the zebco reel and the fiberglass rod dont get the attention as much these days, the smallmouth population has had time to regenerate. my hip waders that once upon a time served as a home for a mother mouse and her young were sold at a garage sale and replaced by some that read “patawhatever” across the chest, they sure keep me warmer. On to today, holding a two handed fly rod, chest deep in ice cold water with rain dripping down my back, smiling from ear to ear. i need to leave soon… stop by mom’s shop where ill make the goats faint and the dogs growl, then kiss her cheek and tell her I love her. Head to dads for dinner and maybe a shot of brown water, b.s.ing about the river and arguing about j. geils albums. my sisters laughing about the trip to the snake river when we were young that left us all so sunburnt we couldnt walk but begging to go back. Maybe I’ll just slink back to the house and stare at the tv and contemplate turning it on. Regardless ill be alright. My family reunions are sometimes by myself, memories and smiles served as the meal.


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